An unmanned Air Force QF-4 drone, assigned to the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., crashed on the drone runway during take-off at 8:25 a.m. July 17. No personnel were injured during the incident.
Base and local police and safety officials have closed Highway 98 and are anticipating that it will remain closed for up to 24 hours. This closure is being done strictly as a precautionary measure due to fires resulting from the crash and a small self-destruct charge carried on board the drone. The status of this device is unknown however, it is powered by a short-life battery which will be fully depleted in 24 hours.
The charge is used to destroy the drone if it leaves its pre-approved flight plan. Motorist traveling from Panama City to Mexico Beach, should use Hwy. 22 east to Hwy. 71 south, and from Mexico Beach to Panama City Hwy. 71 north to Hwy. 22 west.
More details will be released as they become available.